By Aditya Soyanke
Wet wipes are known to be harmful to the environment and cause damage in many ways but here are 4 easy alternatives for day to day to life.
Reaching out for the wipes on the table as soon as you have spilled something over the counter? Or you are about to remove makeup after a long day with your trusted makeup wipe? Wipes have become a part of our daily life integrating themselves in small day to day activities.
What happens after you are done cleaning your mess with the wipes? What happens after they have fulfilled their one time use purpose and are disposed of in the bin, flushed in the toilet or are they disposed of in the proper manner? And what are the environmental consequences if not?
There are many questions revolving around the use of disposable wet wipes. We might not even give it a second thought before opening the resealable box and using the wipe for something as meagre as cleaning our hands. However, these small actions have a massive environmental impact.
Nearly 11 billion wet wipes are used per year in the UK, given the wide range of things they are used for, it’s hardly a surprise.
The makeup wipes and other household wipes end up in landfills. The other “flushable” wipes are the cause of 90% of the sewer pollutants. Even though there are flushable wet wipes in the market, they do not guarantee less environmental harm, just that they won’t clog your pipes. The materials that most manufacturers use in the production of wet wipes are not eco-friendly.
The biodegradability factor of wet wipes is non-existent as they break down into microplastics that cause soil pollution and degrade soil fertility.
The worst way to dispose of wet wipes would be flushing them. When disposed of in this manner great environmental damage occurs. There are also large amounts of money invested by the government every year to keep minimise and tackle the damage created by wet wipes in pipes and sewer systems.
So, what can be done to reduce the impact of wet wipes? These wipes have occupied an important spot in our day-to-day life due to their convenience and removing them completely from use does not seem easy.
Let us take a look at other ways in which you can help to reduce the damage that wet wipes cause:
1)Do not flush wipes:
You might be confused by this statement as flushable wipes are popular nowadays. However, these wipes might help with the clogging issue of your pipes, but they form lumps in the water bodies and create masses of debris called Fatbergs. This might seem like a minor inconvenience when you picture the number of wipes you personally flush. However, the number of wipes used by such a large population creates enough waste to cover a football field. It is responsible for polluting the water and causing damage to marine flora and fauna. Even though throwing wipes in the bins is bad, it seems better than flushing.
2)Using reusable wipes or cloth:
There are many options in the market now. You can either buy reusable wipes, which are really popular nowadays, or you can use your own DIY wipes – a clean linen cloth that can be reused after cleaning. Of course, this might not work in every situation that wet wipes do, but reusable wipes are more sustainable and eco friendly.
3)Use biodegradable wipes:
It is good to see some brands are beginning to manufacture products that are eco friendly. Most of these companies that are environmentally conscious are small businesses. Some examples of these wipes are: Eco by Naty – Unscented Wipes, Biodegradable & Hypoallergenic, Jackson Reece – Unscented Natural Baby Wipes, CannyMum Bamboo Dry Wipes.
All of the above-mentioned products are biodegradable. They are clinically tested and are safe to use.
4)Make-up wipe alternatives:
With make-up becoming a way of expression today rather than just a daily routine, causing a drastic increase in make-up wipe consumption. This has resulted in a growth in the manufacturing of makeup wipes, in turn causing further harm to the environment. You can use sustainable wipes instead and a few companies are manufacturing these. They are effective makeup removers that are chemical free and still gets the job done. Some examples of these makeup removers are: Cheeky Wipes Make Up Removal kit, MakeUp Eraser, Eye MakeUp Remover Pads.
These are just a few ways you can adapt to do your bit for the environment without making any major lifestyle changes. A little mindfulness helps in sustaining the environment we live in.
So what are you waiting for? Try these wet wipes alternatives and save the world.